PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – So the Steelers have gone all in for this season in agreeing to a new contract with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who did throw 33 touchdowns and lead the team to 12 wins.
How can they rebuild the offense around Ben with so little room around the salary cap?
According to NFL Network, Roethlisberger has taken a $5 million dollar pay cut, moving from $19 million to $14 million for this year. They will also spread out that money into dead money for 2022 according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The total savings is $15 million for this season. That more than likely gets the Steelers cap compliant.
Now there is the matter of adding and upgrading.
The team can go offense heavy in the early rounds of the NFL Draft, there are several day one offensive linemen to choose from. They likely will be able to draft a running back in the first couple of rounds who could be their starter and hope to find another lineman or two for depth and maybe a tight end.
Getting rid of one or a couple of veteran Steelers would provide more cap relief. According to overthecap.com, releasing David DeCastro would save $8.75 million. Corner Steven Nelson- $8.25 million. Corner Joe Haden- $7 million. Tight end Eric Ebron-$6 million. Linebacker Vince Williams-$4 million.
Studying these numbers, if you are in win-now mode, why would you release your only long-time veteran offensive lineman in DeCastro? Or your only experienced tight end in Ebron?
You likely would have to release or at least renegotiate with one or both of your corners. Do you believe enough in Robert Spillane and the scant depth at middle linebacker to release Williams? Remember you are going Super Bowl or bust this year.
If they do free up money, it appears to be a team-friendly year in free agency. So there may be some quick fix bargains out there.
Steelers may have in-house answers-maybe Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland are your tailbacks and Derek Watt gets a bigger role in Matt Canada’s offense.
Maybe Zach Banner re-signs with you under a relatively cheap prove-it year with Okorafor moving to the left side with Kevin Dotson and DeCastro and JC Hassenauer is another inexpensive keep at center. And that, along with a new coach, improves the line.
Maybe Pine-Richland’s Kevin Rader and Zach Gentry are ready to fill in for Vance McDonald at tight end. Both are inexpensive.
Maybe Canada and Roethlisberger mesh perfectly and the offense improves just from the scheme alone?
All of those previous options are possible fixes, but it’s a lot of maybes.